Friday, 15 February 2013

Toddler friendly no added sugar flapjack with added vegetables!

It's alright, I haven't gone mad with the title: this is flapjack cranked up to the next level. Just as lovely, but that bit more virtuous. If you've already tried my Orange & Date no added sugar Flapjack you'll see it's virtually the same recipe, just with a different spice and some added veg.

You may ask why vegetables in flapjack, which after all is a treat food and not an essential. Fair question.

A few months ago I set myself a personal challenge: to make our food work as hard as possible for our bodies and our health, without losing out on the taste or even the satisfaction of eating treat foods.

I have come to believe that it is a bit bonkers to eat things we know harm us, when they are not essential or even always all that satisfying to eat. We all go bonkers from time to time, me included (I found a white chocolate snowman in my rucksack last night someone had given me for the boy and let's just say, it didn't last long, dairy or no dairy) and my husband's weakness will always be the all day breakfast when we're out and about.

This is why I am teaching myself to bake without refined sugars and weaning us onto the healthier fats. Its an ongoing project and will probably never be completely finished, but its an increasing passion of mine. So, enough waffle, here's the recipe.

Orange & Date no added sugar Flapjack with Carrot & Spinach


150g stoned dates, chopped fine
5 tbsp orange juice
zest of 1/2 medium orange
150g dairy free butter / spread
100g raisins or sultanas
225g porridge oats
1/2 tsp mixed spice
75g grated carrot
60g finely chopped spinach

Preheat the oven to 170 C fan ovens or 180 C for conventional ovens.

Line and grease or oil a 10 inch round cake tin, or similarly sized tin.

Pour the orange juice over the dates and add the orange zest. Stir well to coat the dates and then leave to steep for at least 1/2 hour if you have time, even a few minutes is good though. Once steeped, mash the dates as much as possible (I use a fork or you could try a hand blender) until you have a lumpy sticky mixture (many of the dates won't mash but that's fine).

Melt the butter / spread in a saucepan and add the date mixture and raisins / sultanas. Heat gently until it is all combined.

Add the oats, mixed spice, carrots and spinach and mix. If it looks a little dry, add a bit more melted butter but it shouldn't need it. Turn into your prepared tin. A 10 inch round loose bottomed cake tin (or equivalent square one) would be perfect. Lightly press down the mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned on top. Cut into 12-16 squares (depending on the size you want) and leave in the tin until fully cooled or it will break apart.

Taste tested and approved by 20 month old and 43 year old boys. Enjoy and feel good!

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